…change is always scary. But then I thought of you guys, and I wasn’t so scared. Abed, when you brought this group together, you changed our lives. But then we changed each other. And we’re gonna keep changing in unexpected ways. And we’re still gonna be friends, even if we don’t all become professors at Greendale, or open a restaurant together, or move into the same apartment building after Pierce dies. And even if we go somewhere, we’re not going anywhere…
Jeff Winger as imagined by Abed Nadir (Joel McHale)
I was trying to hang on to this moment because I was so afraid of the future… but then I realized: all of this was once the future, and it was completely different from what I’d known before. And it was happening so fast. But in the end- or in the now, I guess- it turned out great.
Abed Nadir (Danny Pudi)
The timeline feels a bit dark, and it’s not because the first post-Dan Harmon episode of Community was as disheartening as many TV critics had led me to believe it would be. (It wasn’t.) It’s because so many of those critics who’ve been singing Community‘s praises the past 3 seasons now seem so eager to dump dirt in the show’s open grave and call it a headless zombie. Even the critics who bestowed lukewarm praise on the first few episodes of Season 4 are moaning that it’s still “not the same show.”
Now I’m no professional TV critic, but I’m no doe-eyed optimist, either. And I have this theory: If the post-Harmon Community detractors hadn’t read the news that Dan Harmon got fired, they would’ve had no idea Harmon was fired based on the season 4 premiere alone.
Sure, there’s no way I could prove what would’ve happened in such a timeline. But could any die-hard Community viewer really tell me with a straight face that “History 101” wasn’t Harmon-esque? (Or, perhaps more importantly, Community-esque?) For heck’s sake, it had Abed retreating into fantasy worlds within fantasy worlds!
I just have an awful hard time believing that Dan Harmon wouldn’t be proud of “Greendale Babies.” (Or the wishing fountain, or Jeff & the Dean’s tango, or Blind/Blonde.) That is, if he’s not still bitter about the whole Community thing. Of course I wouldn’t blame him if he were still bitter. A lot of those saddened TV critics, however, seem to be holding onto some odd grudge against Community for continuing without Harmon. And as a result, they’re looking a lot like Abed, retreating into a fantasy world where Community starts sucking, because maybe that’s the narrative they’d prefer to believe.
Then again, that could very well be the narrative I’d prefer they prefer to believe. But I’ve watched “History 101” twice now, and I’ll probably watch it once or twice more before the next episode of post-Harmon Community. It’s that good.